A day after he was picked up by the Kings XI Punjab, Mohammed Kaif celebrated it with an unbeaten century (148) against East Zone in the Duleep Trophy in Amritsar. The knock propelled Central Zone to a commanding 367 for 5 at the draw of stumps on Thursday.
Kaif found a good support in Parvinder Singh, who also hammered a brisk hundred, and Suresh Raina, who fell just two runs short of the three-figure mark. Resuming at overnight 150/3, Central Zone lost Raina early, with the addition of just 23 runs to the total. Raina had been fluent throughout his innings, but got bogged down in the nineties. Taking advantage of his tentativeness, Bose breached his defences to disturb his stumps and deny him a well-deserved century.
The dismissal, however, brought no respite to the East as Kaif and Parvinder put together a dominating partnership. Kaif, who also reached the 7000-run mark in First Class cricket, applied himself well to build the innings. His knock contained 18 boundaries and a six. The duo had added 184 runs for the 5th wicket before Dinda cleaned up Parvinder (113).
East Zone had an ordinary day. Dinda and Bose bowled well in patches. They seemed to have missed the services of another spinner who could bowl in tandem with Sourashish Lahiri. The match was again disrupted by weather and could begin only around noon.
"I enjoyed my knock. We are in a comfortable position and hope to capitalise on this," said Kaif. He also expressed his pleasure at being picked for the IPL. "I am thankful to the franchisee and am looking forward to make most of this opportunity," he said.